As cricket fans, we always love rivalries between the teams and their players. It's like the cherry on the cake adding more glamour to an already exciting game. The cricketing world has witnessed some of the greatest rivalries in the sport in the past three decades.
While the fans enjoyed the rivalries between Sachin and Shane Warne, Lara and McGrath, Sachin and Akhtar, Graeme Smith and Zaheer, Harbhajan and Symonds in the 90s and 2000s, they are enjoying some new age rivalries like Kohli and Malinga, Warner and Rabada, Kieron Pollard and Mitchell Starc.
Here in this article, we have covered four dream cross-generation cricket rivalries that the Indian fans will never get to see.
#4 Brian Lara vs Jasprit Bumrah
Brian Lara was one of the most flamboyant cricketers this game has ever produced. On his day, he can be ruthless to even the best bowlers in the world. The likes of Muralitharan, Shane Warne, McGrath, Alan Donald were mercilessly treated by this legendary batsman on many occasions. His ability to dance down the track to spinners, cut and pull the fast bowlers has been unmatched.
Jasprit Bumrah, on the other hand, rose to fame in the world cricket with his unorthodox, pacy, lethal fast bowling. He has become one of the most feared bowlers in all the three formats.
While Lara retired from cricket in 2007, Bumrah made his debut in 2016. A lot of things have changed in the middle years as the game inclined more towards the batsman with the advent of T20s, larger bats, small boundaries.
What if a context happens between one of the best batsmen in the bowler dominant era and one of the best bowlers in the batsman dominant era. Can Bumrah york Lara out? Can Lara pull Bumrah to a midwicket six?
We will never get to know this as these two interesting cricketers ruled the cricketing world in a completely different cricketing era.
#3 Rohit Sharma vs Allan Donald
Allan Donald was part of the South African pace arsenal which the entire cricketing world feared in the 90s. Even the legendary Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara failed to replicate their success in South Africa during Donald's reign. He is one of the most feared fast bowlers South Africa has ever produced. The 'White Lightning' retired in 2002 after claiming 602 International wickets in his illustrious career.
Rohit Sharma, a.k.a 'Hitman' is one of the most brutal batsmen of the modern age. He has the habit of smashing even the most feared fast bowlers to a square-leg six with much ease. He has three double centuries against his name. However, the South African bowlers have always managed to keep him quiet. While his career average stands at 47.5, his average against South Africa stands at 28.00.
Had Donald and Rohit played in the same era, Could the South African fast bowler torment the Indian star? We all want this answer. However, the time has other answers as they played in different cricketing eras.
#2 Sachin Tendulkar vs Rashid Khan
Sachin Tendulkar, who has enchanted a country of more than one billion people with his mesmerizing batting, has been regarded as the best batsman in the world after Sir Donald Bradman. The God of Indian cricket has played 24 years of International Cricket owning most of the cricketing records.
Rashid Khan has dominated all the T20 leagues in the world since his debut in 2015. It is fair to call him the best T20 bowler in the world at the moment. Even the legendary Tendulkar has called Rashid the best spinner in the world.
Thanks a trillion Sachin sir, your words give me great persuations 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙏— Rashid Khan (@rashidkhan_19) May 25, 2018
While the legend retired in 2012, Afghanistan spinner made his debut in 2015. Sachin, who dominated the world-class spinners like Shane Warne, Saqlain Mushtaq, would have loved playing the young spinner. Even Rashid would have relished bowling against the best in the business.
Unfortunately, both these cricketers played in two different generations. What a grand treat we have missed by a span of three years!
#1 Virat Kohli vs Glenn McGrath
During the fast bowlers' reign for 15 years, Australia enjoyed their golden era of the game. Nicknamed 'Pigeon', McGrath helped Australia win three World Cups on the trot. Australia was the No.1 Test side predominantly during his career. The Australian legend can easily be called as one of the greatest fast bowlers this game has ever produced.
Virat Kohli, who debuted two years after McGrath's retirement, has taken the cricketing world by surprise by dominating the game like no other batsman in the modern era did. He is easily the best batsman in the past decade.
Both these legendary players are famous for their aggressive mentality as they expressed their emotions on the field without second thoughts.
What would have happened had Virat Kohli played against McGrath in a Test series Down Under? Would Kohli have enjoyed similar success with the 'Pigeon' being around?
The rivalry between these two players would have stolen the headlines during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. We, as fans, are unlucky not to have these two stars in the same era.